Prior to this weekend, the Red Sox only had to fill the hitting and pitching coach roles on their coaching staff after hiring a bench coach and both base coaches earlier in the week. Whoever was going to come in as hitting and pitching coach was going to be replacing a couple of well-respected coaches in Chili Davis and Carl Willis, although neither are the favorites of every fan. Still, this was a key decision for Alex Cora and Dave Dombrowsi, and they found a new hitting coach. On Saturday, they hired Tim Hyers from the Dodgers as their hitting coach as well as Andy Barkett as their assistant hitting coach.
I’m not going to sit here and tell you about Hyers’ philosophies as a hitting coach, though I will say that he is coming from a team that tended to hit the ball in the air and try to drive it out of the ballpark. Los Angeles was in the bottom-third of the league in groundball rate, per Fangraphs. Whether that was because of Hyers in any way, I have no idea. Still, he seems like a strong hire based on what we do know. Again, he’s coming from a great offensive team that had a nice mix of up-and-comers he helped develop like Corey Seager and Cody Bellinger, as well as veterans he helped transform like Justin Turner.
Beyond that experience, he has also spent a significant amount of time with the Red Sox organization in multiple roles. He was an area scout for the team from 2009-2012, and then he moved on to become the minor-league hitting coordinator from 2013-2015. This last part could be the most important piece of the puzzle, as this would mean he has worked with some young players on the Red Sox right now such as Mookie Betts, Xander Bogaerts, Jackie Bradley, Sam Travis, Deven Marrero, Christian Vazquez and many more. He is, at the very least, familiar with them in a way most coaches would not be. Hyers also had a stint as the team’s interim hitting coach in 2014.
Barkett, meanwhile, has spent a lot of time over the last few years as a minor-league manager in the Pittsburgh and Miami organizations. He was Pittsburgh’s Triple-A manager in 2017. He has also served as an assistant hitting coordinator in both organizations.